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Climate emergency decision defended as questions raised over West Norfolk residents' flooding fears

A West Norfolk councillor has defended the council’s decision not to declare a climate emergency after being quizzed on the decision.

West Norfolk Council voted to delay declaring a climate emergency in favour of a cabinet debate in October.

And at a full council meeting at the town hall on Thursday, deputy leader of the opposition Jo Rust asked cabinet chairman for environment Ian Devereux to defend the council’s decision.

Ian Devereux
Ian Devereux

She said: “You said at the full council meeting that 12 years was not an emergency.

“How do you think the people in Snettisham new-build housing who face flooding even if they are on the second floor are going to feel about the council’s failure to declare a climate emergency?”

Mr Devereux, Conservative member for Snettisham ward, said: “That was their choice.

“They chose to live there and develop their houses there in full knowledge of what was happening.”

When questioned about the shingle bank at Snettisham being an adequate flood protection, Mr Devereux said it has been.

He said: "The shingle bank was actually performing its purpose. We will go through the process of restoring it in February, March next year. There will always be severe storm damage but the Environment Agency decision was that we did not need to do additional work."

Mrs Rust also highlighted tidal defences at Heacham as "insufficient".

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